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Title: Lightweight Target Generates Bright, Energetic X-Rays

Abstract

Radiography with x rays is a long-established method to see inside objects, from human limbs to weapon parts. Livermore scientists have a continuing need for powerful x rays for such applications as backlighting, or illuminating, inertial confinement fusion (ICF) experiments and imaging still or exploding materials for the nation's Stockpile Stewardship Program. X-radiography is one of the prime diagnostics for ICF experiments because it captures the fine detail needed to determine what happens to nearly microscopic targets when they are compressed by laser light. For example, Livermore scientists participating in the National Ignition Facility's (NIF's) 18-month-long Early Light experimental campaign, which ended in 2004, used x rays to examine hydrodynamic instabilities in jets of plasma. In these experiments, one laser beam irradiated a solid target of titanium, causing it to form a high-temperature plasma that generated x rays of about 4.65 kiloelectronvolts (keV). These x rays backlit a jet of plasma formed when two other laser beams hit a plastic ablator and sent a shock to an aluminum washer. Livermore physicist Kevin Fournier of the Physics and Advanced Technologies Directorate leads a team that is working to increase the efficiency of converting laser energy into x rays so the resultingmore » images provide more information about the object being illuminated. The main characteristics of x-ray sources are energy and brightness. ''As experimental targets get larger and as compression of the targets increases, the backlighter sources must be brighter and more energetic'', says Fournier. The more energetic the x rays, the further they penetrate an object. The brighter the source--that is, the more photons it has--the clearer the image. historically, researchers have used solid targets such as thin metal foils to generate x rays. however, when photon energies are greater than a few kiloelectronvolts, the conversion efficiency of solid targets is only a fraction of 1 percent. Solid targets have low efficiencies because much of the laser energy is deposited far from the target's x-ray emitting region, and the energy is carried by the relatively slow process of thermal conduction. ''The laser beam ablates material from the massive target, and that material moves away from the target's surface'', says Fournier. With a nanosecond pulse or longer, the laser interacts with the blow-off plasma rather than the remaining bulk sample. As a result, much of the laser's energy goes into the kinetic energy of the blow-off material, not into heating the bulk of the foil.« less

Authors:
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Lawrence Livermore National Lab. (LLNL), Livermore, CA (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE
OSTI Identifier:
883594
Report Number(s):
UCRL-TR-218469
TRN: US200615%%161
DOE Contract Number:  
W-7405-ENG-48
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
42 ENGINEERING; 70 PLASMA PHYSICS AND FUSION TECHNOLOGY; 72 PHYSICS OF ELEMENTARY PARTICLES AND FIELDS; 74 ATOMIC AND MOLECULAR PHYSICS; ALUMINIUM; BRIGHTNESS; COMPRESSION; EFFICIENCY; HEATING; HYDRODYNAMICS; IGNITION; INERTIAL CONFINEMENT; KINETIC ENERGY; PHOTONS; PHYSICS; PLASTICS; STOCKPILES; TARGETS; THERMAL CONDUCTION; TITANIUM; WEAPONS; X-RAY SOURCES

Citation Formats

Hazi, A. Lightweight Target Generates Bright, Energetic X-Rays. United States: N. p., 2006. Web. doi:10.2172/883594.
Hazi, A. Lightweight Target Generates Bright, Energetic X-Rays. United States. https://doi.org/10.2172/883594
Hazi, A. Wed . "Lightweight Target Generates Bright, Energetic X-Rays". United States. https://doi.org/10.2172/883594. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/883594.
@article{osti_883594,
title = {Lightweight Target Generates Bright, Energetic X-Rays},
author = {Hazi, A},
abstractNote = {Radiography with x rays is a long-established method to see inside objects, from human limbs to weapon parts. Livermore scientists have a continuing need for powerful x rays for such applications as backlighting, or illuminating, inertial confinement fusion (ICF) experiments and imaging still or exploding materials for the nation's Stockpile Stewardship Program. X-radiography is one of the prime diagnostics for ICF experiments because it captures the fine detail needed to determine what happens to nearly microscopic targets when they are compressed by laser light. For example, Livermore scientists participating in the National Ignition Facility's (NIF's) 18-month-long Early Light experimental campaign, which ended in 2004, used x rays to examine hydrodynamic instabilities in jets of plasma. In these experiments, one laser beam irradiated a solid target of titanium, causing it to form a high-temperature plasma that generated x rays of about 4.65 kiloelectronvolts (keV). These x rays backlit a jet of plasma formed when two other laser beams hit a plastic ablator and sent a shock to an aluminum washer. Livermore physicist Kevin Fournier of the Physics and Advanced Technologies Directorate leads a team that is working to increase the efficiency of converting laser energy into x rays so the resulting images provide more information about the object being illuminated. The main characteristics of x-ray sources are energy and brightness. ''As experimental targets get larger and as compression of the targets increases, the backlighter sources must be brighter and more energetic'', says Fournier. The more energetic the x rays, the further they penetrate an object. The brighter the source--that is, the more photons it has--the clearer the image. historically, researchers have used solid targets such as thin metal foils to generate x rays. however, when photon energies are greater than a few kiloelectronvolts, the conversion efficiency of solid targets is only a fraction of 1 percent. Solid targets have low efficiencies because much of the laser energy is deposited far from the target's x-ray emitting region, and the energy is carried by the relatively slow process of thermal conduction. ''The laser beam ablates material from the massive target, and that material moves away from the target's surface'', says Fournier. With a nanosecond pulse or longer, the laser interacts with the blow-off plasma rather than the remaining bulk sample. As a result, much of the laser's energy goes into the kinetic energy of the blow-off material, not into heating the bulk of the foil.},
doi = {10.2172/883594},
url = {https://www.osti.gov/biblio/883594}, journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = {2006},
month = {1}
}